Updated: Sep 15, 2019
What should you do when you feel less than stellar?
What to do when you say the words “I’m grateful” or “thank you” and find that you’re feeling absolutely nothing on the inside?
How do you boost your vibes back up to really feeling it?
We’ve all been there at some point in time… when you not only don’t feel it, but even thinking about the word “gratitude” makes you sick.
…And everyone who’s overflowing with gratitude and sunshine just seems revolting.
It’s okay, even the sunniest of us feel down sometimes. That’s life and part of being human.
But what are these “vibrations” anyway?
Vibration is a Law of Attraction term that means emotional energy. Your emotional energy is derived from your thoughts and feelings. When you feel wonderful, you’re usually having happier thoughts and this “raises your vibrations.”
Many mind and spirit teachers advise the following two steps to move out of heavier vibrations and help diffuse the mental states that accompany challenges, so your feelings can flow back into balance:
(1) Reduce limiting beliefs
(2) Boost beneficial beliefs
In other words, reduce limiting beliefs that arise which do not serve you, and boost the beneficial beliefs that do serve you. These are powerful ways to address and move through unpleasant emotions.
When thoughts arise that make you feel rotten, do what you can right now — in this moment — to look for and do anything that feels good. Start with slightly better, and work your way up, one little bit at a time.
Our natural state is one of ease, wellness, and love.
Is it though? Most random conversations include a lot of the opposite. In fact, next time you’re having a quick conversation with anyone, note the energy. Is it positive and uplifting? Or is it filled with drama and casual complaints?
Have we trained ourselves to feel more at ease with lower emotional states? Are we consistently exposed to media or news that reflects more of “the awful” and challenges our emotional balance?
I would tweak the 2 points above to these:
(1) Reduce time and energy spent with people and media that constantly spout the negative (unless it’s something you can help with in practical terms). Unfollow the complainers, change the channel, skip the news. Take control.
(2) Boost time and energy with people, groups, books, shows that uplift you. Choose from this moment onwards who you want to invite into your energy field. Choose for your benefit.
So how DO you get back on the path quickly to feeling good?
Here are 4 steps to get back that loving feeling:
1. Do whatever you can in the moment to feel good
First assess the situation. If you’re feeling down about something you can control, then go ahead and take whatever action is needed.
Otherwise, aim for the good-feels, little by little.
Read something spiritual or uplifting or fun.
Go dancing or find an empty room and put on some music.
Spend a few minutes in nature.
Call a fun friend or a loved one for a chat.
Watch a comedy or funny movie.
Create an enjoyable meal.
Spend time with a beloved pet.
Do whatever works for you.
Tip: Put together a few different playlists on your smartphone and have them handy:
Your best fun tunes (separate playlists for morning and evening)
2. Try the Gratitude Walk
With each step that you take, say in your mind “thank you.”
By the way, if you’re feeling really mad, sad or bad, it’s okay. Allow and honour those emotions and let off some steam if you have to. I’ve sometimes started off my gratitude walk saying “f*ck it!” with each step. It was hot-mess fun for a bit and then it diffused - it’s necessary to accept those feelings so they can flow out safely.
When you do start the gratitude walk and your emotions begin to catch up, it may seem so simple and silly at first that you find yourself smiling. Smiling means your vibration is rising. And silly can be fun!
This might seem overly simple at first, but take a look at what’s happening…
Walking, in itself, can be a contemplative experience.
And as you focus on saying each word with each step, you narrow your mental focus to these specific words.
Combining the words and an inner state with physical action is similar to what is known in NLP as anchoring.
This focus, fused with the rhythm of walking, creates a walking meditation.
Meditation has countless techniques and the classic format of chanting Om and eliminating thoughts is but only one of those techniques. Meditation is really the art of focus.
Many spiritual teachers believe in the power of meditation. For very good reason – the focus in any type of meditation creates a type of incredibly powerful mental exercise.
3. Try the 'Pono Walk
This is based on Ihaleakala Hew Len’s version of the Hawaiian practice of Ho'oponopono, which is a form of mental rebalancing to put things right by taking 100% responsibility.
It consists of four phrases:
I’m sorry (repentance to yourself for any harm or self-neglect)
Please forgive me (asking of forgiveness from yourself for any harm or self-neglect)
Thank you (gratitude to your higher self)
I love you (love to your higher self)
The Hawaiian spiritual teacher Mahealani Kuamo'o-Henry (also known as Aunty) shares that the original and ancient intent of Hoʻoponopono is to release fear-based thinking and accept and embrace your self-best and self-greatness.
I usually use the last two phrases: “Thank you” and “I love you” repeated over and over as I walk. But, by all means, if you are drawn to all four phrases, feel free to use them.
4. Rock the Coue Walk
Émile Coué was a French psychologist and pharmacist who studied the benefits and power of auto suggestion. He encouraged his patients to repeat a powerful healing phrase several times a day to override an unwelcome state of mind with a desired state.
"Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better."
His patients reported significant improvement which reinforced the power of suggestion — affirmations - to the conscious and subconscious minds.
I found that this mantra works extremely well when experiencing incredible pressure or stress in life, or if you are in a state of despair. Just the act of repeating this mantra over and over while you’re walking in nature has an immediate calming and soothing effect.
You can extrapolate it from the base line in the ways that suit you or spring to mind, i.e.
"Every day, in every way, I am getting healthier and healthier. Every day, in every way, I allow myself to be more and more loving. Every day, in every way, I am getting fitter and fitter."
...you get the point.
Self-love, self-care and doing any of the walks will raise your vibes very quickly. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to slip back into a state of balance and mindfulness. It might not start off easy, so be kind to yourself as you navigate and experiment with any way to leverage yourself up, one step at a time.
Try these exercises and see which you love using. Or customize them as you like in whatever way makes you feel good. I’ve used all of them for different situations – they work!